Leading By Example: A Guide to Becoming a Better Leader at Work

Coming up as a better leader at your accounting firm encompasses a plethora of skill sets, the primary being accountability in leadership endeavors. It further involves a combination of other essentials, which involves but is not limited to- leadership skills, industry knowledge, and a commitment to continuous improvement.

However, in all this, the most important step you can take to become an effective and efficient leader is to lead by example. But what does it mean in its entirety?

Well, let us delve deeper and understand the same!

Leadership is a quality that many aspire to possess but only a few are able to inculcate. True leadership is not just about holding a position of authority; it’s about setting an example for others to follow. Leading by example is a powerful form of leadership that fosters trust, respect, and inspiration within a team or organization.

In this article, we will explore what it means to lead by example and provide practical tips for showcasing better leadership at your firm through your actions and behaviour.

1. Demonstrate Integrity and Honesty

Leading by example starts with being a person of integrity and honesty. People are more likely to follow leaders they trust. Hence, always be truthful and transparent in your actions and communications, even when it is most difficult to do so. Also, when you commit to do something, perform and get on with it. By demonstrating these qualities, you set a standard for others to emulate.

2. Show a Strong and Consistent Work Ethics

Your work ethic sets the tone for your team. Show dedication and commitment towards your work, and others will be motivated to do the same. Be punctual and do not be late for team meet-ups and other staff meetings, since it’s disrespectful and shows that you do not value time. Also, meet your commitments and deadlines without faltering.

Trust us; this quality is a cornerstone for anyone who wishes to know how to be a better leader at work which further helps create a culture of hard work and excellence throughout.

3. Be a Continuous Learner

As the leader of your firm, you must stay updated with industry developments through training, professional development, and certifications. By doing so, you then can operate from a position of strength wherein you can encourage (and even demand) your team to do the same.

4. Be Adaptable

In a constantly changing world, adaptability in leadership is the need of the hour. Needless to say, leaders who can adapt to various work environments and situations are highly respected by their staff members. Leading by example in adaptability means embracing change, being open to new ideas, and demonstrating a willingness to learn and grow. Your team will be more likely to follow your lead and embrace change when they see you doing the same.

5. Be a Problem-Solver, Not a Problem Blamer

Leaders encounter challenges and problems regularly. When you lead by example in problem-solving, you become a role model for your team. Demonstrate resilience, creativity, and a solution-oriented mindset. Encourage your team to tackle obstacles with a positive attitude and a problem-solving approach. When they see you doing so, they will do the same.

However, in the process, even if something does not happen your way, learn not to pinpoint and hold others accountable. Rather, being accountable yourself is deemed as one of the crucial and better leadership skills that should neither be overlooked nor undermined.

6. Develop a Sense of Accountability

Take responsibility for your actions and decisions. When you make a mistake, admit it, and work on finding a solution. Don’t blame others. Own the problem even if it is not entirely yours to own. By taking ownership and holding yourself accountable as the leader of your firm, you will set a powerful example for your team, creating a culture of responsibility and ownership.

7. Demonstrate Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence in accounting is the ability to understand and manage emotions effectively. Leading by example in emotional intelligence means showing self-awareness, and empathy towards others. It also involves handling stress and conflicts healthily. This fosters a positive and emotionally intelligent work environment, as your staff will attempt to emulate your behaviour.

Thus, leading by example is a form of leadership that lends you the moral authority to lead. It is about embodying the qualities and behaviours you want to see in your team and firm.

As such, by demonstrating integrity, work ethic, continuous learning, adaptability, problem-solving attitude, accountability, and emotional intelligence, you can create a culture of trust, respect, and inspiration. Effective leadership by example has a ripple effect, inspiring and influencing those around you to put forward their optimal while working hand-in-hand towards achieving shared goals.